In the Spotlight:
Kim Abernethy, ChildSafe President & CEO
- What is your role at your organization and what does it entail?
As President and CEO of ChildSafe, it is my responsibility and privilege to lead and guide board and staff members to ensure every child who walks through our doors is treated with dignity and respect and receives the most advanced care possible during what is likely the most traumatic time of their lives. Our new Harvey E. Najim Children & Family Center is a model for other nonprofits to understand how informed design can inspire healing. The beautiful campus is a trauma-informed setting that says to all who enter—clients, partners, staff members, and the community at large—”you are welcome, you are safe, and you are special.” The new campus is a sanctuary for children, their families, and the professionals who care for and protect them, dramatically impacting a child’s ability to heal.
- Describe your organization’s mission in your own words.
To provide care and services directly to children and adolescents traumatized by sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, neglect, or exploitation and heal from the abuse they have suffered at the hands of an adult. As the only Children’s Advocacy in Bexar County, we coordinate efforts of child protection staff, law enforcement professionals, family advocates, medical experts, and mental health clinicians for children and adolescents traumatized by abuse.
- What is a common misconception about your organization or the mission you serve?
Many people think ChildSafe provides housing for overnight treatment of clients, but that is not the case. All of our services, starting with forensic interviews, family support and case management, counseling, outdoor behavioral healthcare, and referrals to vital community services, are provided on-site during extended hours of the week. A large percent of the children and families we serve have never been in the child welfare system.
- What does $100 support when giving to your organization?
A donation of $100 can allow us to provide coping kits for eight children, or two clinical therapy sessions for one child, or bus passes for four families coming to receive services at ChildSafe. For every $1 donated to ChildSafe, 88¢ goes directly towards client services.
- What is an upcoming way to get involved at ChildSafe?
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. We recognize it by conducting our annual Cardboard Kids campaign to heighten awareness about child abuse in our community. This year we will have several drive-thru locations, including Olmos Basin Park, Roosevelt Park, UTSA, and ChildSafe. It is an excellent way for individuals, families, organizations, and businesses to get involved and learn more about this pressing issue facing Bexar County. People can learn more about the campaign by visiting childsafe-sa.org/CardboardKids.
Nonprofit Spotlight is curated by:
Nonprofits are the heartbeat of our community. Behind each organization is a dedicated team driven by a unique mission to provide a necessary service to our city. In fact, San Antonio is home to over 12,000 registered nonprofit organizations that employ almost 68,000 San Antonians each year (San Antonio Nonprofit Economic Impact Study, 2020). What are these organizations and whom do they serve? Who are their employees and what work do they do? Nonprofit Spotlight sheds light on a local organization, a member of their team, and a peek behind the curtain to understand what it takes to serve our community.